Śrī Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka

Śrī Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka
Eight Instructions
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa, a task which His followers have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are, in fact, the most voluminous, exacting, and consistent, due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Śikṣāṣṭaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein.

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Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

This begins a new series of a True account. A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know. To download the entire book you may click the link at bottom for entire book on pdf, or you can visit Krishna Path .org to download in epub format.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
Conversations between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
and Bob Cohen a Peace Corp worker in India

Introduction

God, spiritual life—those were such vague terms to me before I met Śrīla Prabhupāda. I have always been interested in religion, but before I met the Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees, somehow I did not have the proper perspective needed to inquire fruitfully about spiritual life. The existence of a Creator is only common sense—but who is God? Who am I? I had been to Hebrew School and had studied Oriental philosophy, but I could never get satisfying answers to my questions.

I first heard the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in Greenwich Village, New York, in late 1968.

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

The chanting was captivating, and it made me feel very comfortable. The mantra stuck in my mind, and I soon regretted that I had not taken a magazine from the devotees. As explained to me later, a transcendental seed had been planted that could eventually ripen into love of Godhead.

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The Goal of Yoga

…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the great necessity of human society. Learn it and appreciate it, comprehend it and assimilate it—and teach it. It is very simple. If you offenselessly chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, everything will be revealed from within because Kṛṣṇa is sitting within you. If you are strong and have faith and conviction in Kṛṣṇa, as well as in the spiritual master, the transparent via medium to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa is there. The Vedas say that if you have implicit faith in God and implicit faith in your bona fide guru, who teaches you Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the result will be that all the Vedic scriptures will be revealed authoritatively.(Srila Prabhupada)

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Nadiya Godrume

On the island of Godrum in Nabadwip dham, the magnanimous Lord Nityananda has opened up the marketplace of the Holy Name, meant for the deliverance of all fallen souls. By Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, performed by Agnideva das.

Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa

During the Purusottama Month, it is important to Hear and Chant more. With this in mind we are posting the 14th Chapter of Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, with Lord Brahma praising the Glories of Krishna (Purusottama) The Supreme Personality.

“My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage and enter into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship.”

“In the Upaniṣads it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is as effulgent as the sun and is the origin of everything, and anyone who can understand that original person becomes liberated from the material conditional life. Anyone who can simply be attached to You by devotional service can know Your actual position, Your birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, simply by understanding Your constitutional position, appearance and disappearance, one can be immediately elevated to the spiritual kingdom after quitting this present body. Therefore to cross over the ocean of material nescience, an intelligent person takes shelter of Your lotus feet and is easily transferred to the spiritual world.”

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The Science of Reincarnation

The Science of Reincarnation

A conversation in 1975 between
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,
and Mike Robinson, a reporter for the London Broadcasting Company.

Mike Robinson: Can you tell me what you believe—what the philosophy of the Hare Krsna movement is?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science. The first step is to know the difference between a living body and a dead body. What is the difference? The difference is that when someone dies, the spirit soul, or the living force, leaves the body. And therefore the body is called “dead.” So, there are two things: one, this body; and the other, the living force within the body. We speak of the living force within the body. That is the difference between the science of Krsna consciousness, which is spiritual, and ordinary, material science. As such, in the beginning it is very, very difficult for an ordinary man to appreciate our movement. One must first understand that he is a soul, or something other than his body.

Mike Robinson: And when will we understand that?

Srila Prabhupada: You can understand at any moment, but it requires a little intelligence. For example, as a child grows, he becomes a boy, the boy becomes a young man, the young man becomes an adult, and the adult becomes an old man. Throughout all this time, although his body is changing from a child to an old man, he still feels himself to be the same person, with the same identity. Just see: the body is changing, but the occupier of the body, the soul, is remaining the same. So we should logically conclude that when our present body dies, we get another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.

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Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World

The Fourth Chapter of the Eight Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam describes the previous birth of Gajendra and the crocodile. It tells how the crocodile became a Gandharva and how Gajendra became an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

…in his birth as an elephant, when he was dangerously attacked by the crocodile, he remembered his past life in devotional service and remembered a prayer he had learned in that life. Because of this prayer, he again received the mercy of the Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī ends this chapter by describing the good fortune of the elephant. Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that by hearing the narration of Gajendra’s deliverance, one can also get the opportunity to be delivered.

“One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You, is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation.”

A devotee who tolerates everything in this material world and patiently executes his devotional service can become mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk, a bona fide candidate for liberation. The word dāya-bhāk refers to a hereditary right to the Lord’s mercy. A devotee must simply engage in devotional service, not caring about material situations. Then he automatically becomes a rightful candidate for promotion to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. The devotee who renders unalloyed service to the Lord gets the right to be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, just as a son inherits the property of his father.

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The Smile of a Krishna Conscious Person

“That is the way of Krishna consciousness. Pure devotees are so absorbed in thought of Krishna that they have no other engagement; although they may seem to think or act otherwise, they are always thinking of Krishna. The smile of such a Krishna conscious person is so attractive that simply by smiling he wins so many admirers, disciples and followers.” (from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.22.21)

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Surrender to Krishna

“Four kinds of pious men surrender to Krishna, and four kinds of impious men do not”

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…It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality Kṛṣṇa, one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature. At this point a question arises: How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all the leaders of ordinary men do not surrender to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the all-powerful Personality of Godhead? Mukti, or liberation from the laws of material nature, is sought by the leaders of mankind in different ways and with great plans and perseverance for a great many years and births. But if that liberation is possible by simply surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why don’t these intelligent and hard-working leaders adopt this simple method?

Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.

O best among the Bhāratas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.

Of these, the wise one who is in full knowledge in union with Me through pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.

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George Harrison: “Son of Hari”

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George Harrison: “Son of Hari”
Aug 20, 2012 — CANADA (SUN)

I recently saw this link to the “Son of Hari” website on Facebok and this morning I saw it posted on the Sampradaya Sun With appreciation we are re-posting it here.

The “Son of Hari” website is home to a collection of audio files, some recently released in original form by the Bhaktivedanta Archives, of recorded conversations between Srila Prabhupada and George Harrison.

Srila Prabhupada’s conversations with George on three dates are available: August 22, 1973, August 27, 1973, and July 26, 1976. Each conversation is broken down into multiple parts due to the length of the conversations. Text transcripts are also provided for the conversations.

click on link to visit site and hear conversations or read text; Son of Hari

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Self Realization in the Age of Kali

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.

…This age of Kali is not at all suitable for self-realization as was Satya-yuga, the golden age, or Tretā- or Dvāpara-yugas, the silver and copper ages. For self-realization, the people in Satya-yuga, living a lifetime of a hundred thousand years, were able to perform prolonged meditation. And in Tretā-yuga, when the duration of life was ten thousand years, self-realization was attained by performance of great sacrifice. And in the Dvāpara-yuga, when the duration of life was one thousand years, self-realization was attained by worship of the Lord. But in the Kali-yuga, the maximum duration of life being one hundred years only and that combined with various difficulties, the recommended process of self-realization is that of hearing and chanting of the holy name, fame, and pastimes of the Lord.

The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya began this process in a place meant specifically for the devotees of the Lord. They prepared themselves to hear the pastimes of the Lord over a period of one thousand years. By the example of these sages one should learn that regular hearing and recitation of the Bhāgavatam is the only way for self-realization. Other attempts are simply a waste of time, for they do not give any tangible results. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached this system of Bhāgavata-dharma, and He recommended that all those who were born in India should take the responsibility of broadcasting the messages of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, primarily the message of Bhagavad-gītā. And when one is well established in the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, he can take up the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for further enlightenment in self-realization.

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The Glories of Purusottama Month

Purusottama Month begins Saturday, August 18, 2012

…Once upon a time, thousands of sages came together in the holy place called Naimisaranya to perform sacrifice. To their very good fortune the great sage Suta Goswami, who had been traveling to different pilgrimage sites, arrived there along with his disciples. The sages present were very enlivened to see him. They all stood up immediately to pay their respects to the great sage, offered him a very nice Vyasasana, and requested him with folded hands to sit down on it.

The sages of Naimisaranya said to Suta Goswami with folded hands, “O Sutaji! We humbly request you to tell us something about the wonderful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many thousands of such narrations, but we want to hear the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this Material Ocean and return back to Godhead.

Simplified Recommended Worship for the Purushottama month:

* Establish the Deity or Picture of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in your home and worship Them with love and devotion.

* Offer daily puja and by chanting the mahamantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

* Study Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad gita, especially Chapter Fifteen, Purushottama Yoga.

* Daily offer a ghee lamp to Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

* Give charity to qualified Brahmanas. Engage in Go Seva and distribute prasadam.

* Bathe in the holy rivers and associate with saintly devotees.

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Transcendental Pastimes of the Supreme Lord

Who is there, desiring deliverance from the vices of the age of quarrel, who is not willing to hear the virtuous glories of the Lord?

His transcendental acts are magnificent and gracious, and great learned sages like Nārada sing of them. Please, therefore, speak to us, who are eager to hear about the adventures He performs in His various incarnations.

O wise Sūta, please narrate to us the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Godhead’s multi-incarnations. Such auspicious adventures and pastimes of the Lord, the supreme controller, are performed by His internal powers.

We never tire of hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified by hymns and prayers. Those who have developed a taste for transcendental relationships with Him relish hearing of His pastimes at every moment.

..There is a great difference between mundane stories, fiction, or history and the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The histories of the whole universe contain references to the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord. The Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Purāṇas are histories of bygone ages recorded in connection with the pastimes of the incarnations of the Lord and therefore remain fresh even after repeated readings. For example, anyone may read Bhagavad-gītā or the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam repeatedly throughout his whole life and yet find in them new light of information. Mundane news is static whereas transcendental news is dynamic, inasmuch as the spirit is dynamic and matter is static. Those who have developed a taste for understanding the transcendental subject matter are never tired of hearing such narrations. (From Purport to SB 1.1.19)

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 1, Text 16-19

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New Website

There is a new domain “Jayanandathakur.com” and the new and wonderful Jayananda website, http://www.jayanandathakur.com. We give many thanks to Veronica (Vera) Chatworth, for her expert service and love and devotion for Jayananda, and producing this amazing new website for displaying his recently opened memorial in Mayapur, and the memories and great photos and articles, etc. We pray that Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna give Their blessings to her for such sincere devotional service.

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Transcendental Knowledge

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 4

Transcendental Knowledge

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Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

…The best and ultimate authority is Kṛṣṇa, for He is our eternal well-wisher, and He always speaks for our benefit. Since we have to accept some authority, why not accept His? Simply by hearing of His glories from Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and by chanting His names: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, we can swiftly perfect our lives.

Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, the Matchless Gift
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

The aim of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to bring all living entities back to their original consciousness. All living entities within the material world are, to varying degrees, afflicted with a type of madness. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement aims at curing man of his material disease and reestablishing his original consciousness. In a Bengali poem a great Vaiṣṇava poet has written, “When a man is haunted by ghosts, he can only speak nonsense. Similarly, anyone who is under the influence of material nature should be considered haunted, and whatever he speaks should be considered nonsense.” One may be considered a great philosopher or great scientist, but if he is haunted by the ghost of māyā, illusion, whatever he theorizes and whatever he speaks is more or less nonsensical. Today we are given the example of a psychiatrist who, when requested to examine a murderer, proclaimed that since all the patients with whom he had come in contact were more or less crazy, the court could excuse the murderer on those grounds if it so desired. The point is that in the material world it is very difficult to find a sane living entity. The prevailing atmosphere of insanity in this world is all caused by the infection of material consciousness.

The purpose of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is to bring man back to his original consciousness, which is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, clear consciousness. When water falls from the clouds, it is uncontaminated like distilled water, but as soon as it touches the ground it becomes muddy and discolored. Similarly, we are originally pure spirit soul, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore our original constitutional position is as pure as God’s. In Bhagavad-gītā Sri Kṛṣṇa says:

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Supreme Brahman

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Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.

O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.

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Association with the Pure Devotee

From the Concluding Words to the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

…There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapu. Vāṇī means words, and vapu means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence. Bhagavad-gītā, for example, is the vāṇī of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although Kṛṣṇa was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, Bhagavad-gītā continues.

I still consider His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda to be always present with me by his vāṇī, his words.

It is my wish that devotees of Lord Caitanya all over the world enjoy this translation, and I am glad to express my gratitude to the learned men in the Western countries who are so pleased with my work that they are ordering in advance all my books that will be published in the future. On this occasion therefore, I request my disciples who are determined to help me in this work to continue their cooperation fully, so that philosophers, scholars, religionists and people in general all over the world will benefit by reading our transcendental literatures such as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Sri Vyasa-Puja

…It is obvious that as jagad-guru of the universe there is nobody who can compare to your greatness, to your humility, to your mercifulness and to your preaching potency, because you were chosen by Krsna to be His representative.

…It was a challenge for you to introduce Krsna consciousness to the West and it is a challenge for your disciples to protect your movement from any attempt made to minimize your greatness.

This offering was from 1982, by Kamadhuk-devi-dasi, and is still as pertinent today.

Dear Srila Prabhupada

Allow me to offer you my most humble oveisances in the dust of your lotus feet.

When you arrived in America in the mid-1960’s you allowed this Western world to be released from the total darkness which surrounds it. Since that time, many millions of livings entities have been released from the bondage of birth, death, disease and old age, by hearing about this Krsna consciousness process.

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Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, is performed here by Acyutananda dasa.

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Narottama dasa Thakura
From Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando muñi sāvadhāna mate
jāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha’te

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koribo aikya,
ār nā koriho mane āśā
śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasāde pūre sarva āśā

My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.

cakṣu-dān dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya jñān hṛde prokāśito
prema-bhakti jāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa jāte,
vede gāy jāhāra carito

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

śrī-guru karuṇā-sindhu, adhama janāra bandhu,
lokanāth lokera jīvana
hā hā prabhu koro doyā, deho more pada-chāyā,
ebe jaśa ghuṣuk tribhuvana

Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.

Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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